Sunday, May 22, 2011

Principles of Discipline #5

We have discussed the first four Principles of Discipline:  (1) Tell children what they can do instead of what they can’t do. (2) Protect and preserve children’s feelings that they are lovable and capable. (3) Offer children choices only when you are willing to abide by their decisions. (4) Change the environment instead of the behavior.
Today we discuss principle number five: Work with children instead of against them. Have you every heard a woodworker talk about sanding with the grain of the wood? This is the very concept we can apply to working with young children. The challenge for us is to stand back and observe what the child is trying to do and then finding mutually acceptable ways they can accomplish their goal.
A fourteen month old loves to dump objects out of containers. They are learning about the physical attributes of the container and how it can hold objects. They need to practice this over and over again. Dumping oatmeal out of the Quaker Oats box is wonderful for the child, but not acceptable to those of us who need to make oatmeal for breakfast.
Try instead to find an old Quaker Oats box and put five to ten blocks or large popbeads inside. Learning to pull the cover off and dumping these should be perfectly acceptable both to the child and to the cook, especially if the cook finds a moment to sit on the floor with the child and count the blocks as they are dropped back in. How fun to have mom’s or dad’s attention and to be learning the language of counting to five or ten.
Most three year olds are not yet wired to sit still for very long. Instead of requiring and redirecting them to sit for books at storytime, use some active nursery rhymes that have jumping, crawling, or rolling as part of circle time.
Both of these are strategies that work with the grain of the child.

Jack in the Pulpit

There stands a little man in the deep dark woods
He stands there on one leg in the deep dark woods
Do you know him standing there
Silently without a care
Do you see him standing in the deep, dark woods?

He stands there on one leg, bending to and fro
And all that he can do is to stand and grow
Do you know him standing there
Silently without a care
Do you see him standing in the deep, dark woods?

This song is from “Hansel and Gretel”

Drawing by Grandpa Glenn Bedward, 2011 award recipient, Champion of the Young Child

No comments:

Post a Comment